Shape Up Forum

Hiring PMs within Shape Up

Hey all!

Our product <> engineering org are in our first build cycle. The whole organization is overwhelmingly excited to see how all the hard work of our 6 pitches will turn out. Lots of learnings already from this first cycle and I plan on posting a retro here sometime soon.

To my real question: hiring PMs for a Shape Up shop. What’s everyone’s experience? I lead our Product Team and typically conduct white boarding exercises. However, some of the questions I ask and competencies I evaluate may not be relevant anymore. What’s your process and what have you found successful when adding members to the “shaping committee”?


Hi @samschmitz

As you know, the PM is the intersection of three things: biz pov (flow of $), customer point of view, and technical point of view.

Almost nobody has these in equal proportions. And the risk of hiring someone advertising themselves as PM is you may get somebody with none of the three, and just the ability to coordinate and play Tetris. That has its place in some orgs, but for a Shape Up team I recommend picking somebody who is first strong in one of the three zones who can grow into the other two areas.

Eg elevate a programmer who is keen on the strategic aspect, or a customer-facing person who is technically savvy and gets the business, etc.